Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 15:47:43
25 September 2018

  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.

Not Afraid

Author: The Editors

Sep/Oct 2016
Page 7   ( 2 pages)

Summary: An online movement is aiming to reshape perceptions about domestic violence.


a recent facebook dustup, where one side blamed a woman for provoking a sexual assault by dressing attractively, has unleashed an unprecedented public discussion in the Russian-speaking online world on violence against women – a topic normally far outside the mainstream.

Fed up with the narrative that blames the victim for wearing revealing clothing or engaging in “inappropriate behavior,” Ukrainian activist Anastasia Melny­­chenko posted a list of incidents of harassment, assault and inappropriate behavior she has experienced as a woman. This then led to two social media hashtags, #???????????????? (Russian) and #??????????????? (Ukrainian), that have gone viral, exposing widespread sexual abuse of women throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union. ??

The topic – normally spurned by mainstream Russian media as a marginal feminist concern and rarely discussed even among friends – was suddenly top news, leading “Sisters,” a Moscow NGO that encourages victims of domestic violence to seek help, to be swamped by incoming help-line phone calls.

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